Saturday, January 26, 2013

Matt Voss Mouthpieces

The work of saxophone mouthpiece craftsman Matt Voss has already been praised by great saxophonists like Andy Farber, Mark Shim, Noah Preminger, and Julius Tolentino, and although I am happy to let their collective authority stand, I am nonetheless overdue in adding my meager voice to the chorus of acclaim. (Full disclosure: Matt is my brother.)

I have been lucky enough to play several of Matt's mouthpieces, including restored and perfected vintage mouthpieces like Goldbeck and Tonemaster, as well as a custom-made hard rubber mouthpiece. His workmanship is excellent, and, as a serious saxophonist in his own right, Matt has an uncanny ability to translate the player's desired sound-concept to the mouthpiece. In creating his custom mouthpiece, for instance, Matt succeeded in turning my vague layman's descriptions of sonic preferences into the concrete reality of chamber design, baffle shape, floor height, tip opening, etc. The mouthpiece plays very comfortably and well in-tune, and it has those often intangible qualities that each saxophonist strives for in his own way. You can hear me playing on it in the short excerpt below. (Any flaws are, of course, entirely my own.)

Surely the superlative mouthpiece craftsman must be a musician first and foremost, with a musician's ear and creative sensibility. Matt possesses this musicality in addition to a thorough knowledge of the science of sound production; a deep understanding of and appreciation for the sounds of the saxophone masters; and a deft and deliberate skill at manipulating the physical dimensions of the mouthpiece.

I look forward to continuing to work with him on my sound.

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